For Immediate Release – Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Assistant VP for Communications
SUNY Geneseo Appoints Michael J.
Vice President for College Advancement
GENESEO, N.Y. – Christopher C. Dahl, president of the State University of New York at Geneseo, announced today that Michael J. Catillaz has been named vice president for college advancement and president of the Geneseo Foundation. The appointment, effective July 16, concludes a four-month national search.
At Geneseo, Catillaz will direct the College Advancement Division and manage a team of 23 professionals engaged in development, communications and alumni relations. He brings more than 25 years of fund raising and development experience in public and private higher education, including leadership positions in capital campaigns at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
"Michael Catillaz brings a wealth of knowledge in the art and science of philanthropy evidenced by his proven success in relationship building and fund raising," said Dahl, now in his 12th year as Geneseo's president. "We are fortunate to recruit a professional of his stature to advance SUNY Geneseo to an even higher level of prominence as we evolve into the nation's premier public liberal arts college. On behalf of the search committee and our foundation board, we are delighted to welcome him to Geneseo and look forward to working with him."
Catillaz served for six years as vice president for institutional advancement at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where he planned, developed and managed all aspects of the advancement program including communications; alumni and parent relations; corporate, foundation and government relations; major gifts; annual, planned and reunion giving; and advancement services. He also held primary responsibility for campaign management, securing commitments of $100 million, and served as staff officer for several trustee and campaign steering committees.
"Geneseo is a hallmark of excellence in the SUNY system and one of New York's greatest assets," said Catillaz. "I am honored to receive this vote of confidence and look forward to working with my new colleagues to advance the College to greater heights of distinction. This is an exciting time to join Geneseo because the best is yet to come."
According to Robert Bonfiglio, SUNY Geneseo vice president for student and campus life and chair of the search committee, the vice president position attracted considerable interest nationwide, reflecting Geneseo's outstanding reputation in higher education. "We reviewed a number of strong nominations and applications, but Michael Catillaz emerged as the top candidate given his proven track record in advancement and his affinity for liberal arts education," he said. "We're pleased to have him on board."
Dahl praised the commitment and service provided by Debra G. Hill '75, who has served as interim vice president since last October. "All of us at Geneseo are indebted to Debbie for providing capable and steady leadership over these last eight months," he said. "Through her efforts, we developed momentum during a transitional period instead of maintaining the status quo. Her devotion and loyalty to Geneseo are unmatched and reflect the enduring hold this institution has on its alumni." According to Dahl, Hill will resume her duties as assistant vice president for advancement, the position she held before her interim appointment.
Prior to joining Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Catillaz served as director of NTID's Division of College Advancement and executive director of the NTID Foundation and previously, as director of development. Before that, he held several development positions at RIT including director of the annual fund programs and assistant to the vice president for development. Earlier in his career, Catillaz served as director of financial aid for Genesee Community College.
"In the past 30 years, we have built a solid and effective advancement division at Geneseo," said John Linfoot, vice chairman of the Geneseo Foundation. "We are pleased and excited that a person of Michael Catillaz's talent and vision is available to assume that leadership today. The future for advancement at Geneseo is very bright indeed."
A native of Saranac Lake, N.Y., Catillaz earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy and English and a master's degree in student personnel administration at the State University of New York at Albany. He also holds an MBA from RIT.
He and his wife, Maggie, an attorney and partner with Harter, Secrest & Emery LLP, live in Victor, N.Y. They have three grown children.